Trump picks busi­ness be­fore peo­ple

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - US PRES­I­DENT-ELECT DON­ALD TRUMP has

named Rex Tiller­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Exxon Mo­bil, as his pick for sec­re­tary of state. He had pre­vi­ously picked Gold­man Sachs ex­ec­u­tive Gary Cohn to head the Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil, a key pol­i­cy­mak­ing body. Beijing News com­mented on Wed­nes­day:

Pick­ing can­di­dates for high Cabi­net po­si­tions largely de­pends on their loy­alty to the new ad­min­is­tra­tion and the pres­i­dent’s trust in their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and ca­pa­bil­ity to ex­e­cute or­ders from above.

For­mer trea­sury sec­re­tary Paul O’Neill in the Ge­orge W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion is an apt ex­am­ple of ef­fi­ciently lob­by­ing for con­gres­sional sup­port and man­ag­ing eco­nomic is­sues with­out pro­vok­ing un­nec­es­sary at­ten­tion. He also had a suc­cess­ful record lead­ing Al­coa Inc, the largest United States alu­minum pro­ducer, be­fore he en­tered the White House.

It is un­der­stand­able that Trump’s Cabi­net would con­tain a few from Wall Street to guide

eco­nomic pol­i­cy­mak­ing, es­pe­cially those who also served in govern­ment posts. But Trump’s team of for­mer CEOs has raised con­cerns about the new govern­ment’s ef­fi­ciency. No­tably his trea­sury sec­re­tary nom­i­nee Steven Mnuchin and White House ad­viser Steve Ban­non also worked at Gold­man Sachs.

On the one hand, rein­ing in these se­nior ex­ec­u­tives and hav­ing them do as told will not be easy if that is what Trump aims to achieve. And it re­mains un­clear whether they will put their busi­ness in­ter­ests be­fore the need to im­prove peo­ple’s well-be­ing, a much-touted prom­ise of Trump’s cam­paign.

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